Are you ready for a new glass sliding glass door? Old tracks can get damaged and make the door stick when you try to open and close it. Old doors are also known to have major air leaks that make it impossible to keep the place cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Sometimes you just want a prettier, better door. No matter your motivation, you need to know how to install a new door if you’re going to make a change. You’re about to learn how to do exactly that in four steps.
1. Buy a New Door
The first step in this process is to get your replacement door. Before you spend any money, you want to carefully measure the dimensions of the doorway. For the best measurements, you want to remove the casing from the frame and measure stud to stud. Get the vertical and horizontal numbers, and remember this important tip. Doorways aren’t perfectly level. You want to measure from the top and bottom for the horizontal measurements, and you want to measure on each side for the vertical. If they don’t perfectly match, that’s OK. You’re going to use the smallest of each measurement to choose your door.
When you’re shopping for a door, you can get whatever you want. If you’re not familiar with the process, it might be good to emphasize doors that are easily installed. Something with a pre-hung frame will save you hours of work and frustration.
2. Remove the Old Door
Once you have your new door, you’re ready to get to work. You want to remove the old door. The easiest way to get those heavy panes out is to latch the door. Then you can remove the stop. Once you unlatch the door, you’ll be able to tilt it out.
With the doors removed, you want to take out the existing hardware. That includes angle brackets, tracks and all of the rest. Most of it will be attached with screws, so it’s easy work. Lastly, the old door frame needs to come out too. It’s likely nailed, so you’ll be prying it free. Take your time, and there shouldn’t be a problem.
3. Prep the Doorway
Now that you have an empty doorway, you need to prepare it for the new door. First, you’re going to verify that the new door frame fits. You can use shims to adjust the frame and get it secure. Then you’re going to work on flashing and sealing. You want to use silicone caulk to attach your flashing and make a sill pan. This needs to fully overlap any gaps in the door. This prevents leaks. Even if you aren’t worried about leaking water, this process helps with air leaks that affect heating and cooling efficiency.
4. Place the Door
At this point, you have a door frame and a sill pan. Make sure the frame has been properly secured. It’s also easier to seal the frame with silicone caulk before you place the rest of the door. Get that seal across the entire threshold. Any missed spot will become a leak eventually.
At this point, you’re ready to install the panes. You should have instructions for your hardware that you can follow (some things might go in before the door while others will be installed after). When it’s time to put the glass in place, you’ll want to tilt the panes into their spot in the frame. It will take a little patience. When you have the panes in place, you can install the rest of your hardware, such as your angle brackets.
5. Finish the Door
You have a door in place. Now is the time to adjust it as needed to make sure it slides correctly and everything is fitted properly. Use shims wherever you think they are necessary. They’ll help immeasurably.
When you’re ready, you can install handles and locking hardware. You can use finishing nails to fully secure the frame to the studs. Remember to cut your shims. From there, you can add trim, mats and any other finishing touches that you want. Make sure there are no unsealed gaps anywhere, and touch up with paint as you see fit.
That should do it. That’s the process to install a sliding glass door in four steps. If it’s your first time, you can expect to spend a couple of hours on the process. If you’ve done door installations before, it can go a lot faster. All that you need to know now is what door you’re getting. You can browse a ton of options at Advanced Auto Glass. While you’re looking at options, you can also get some pro advice on how to do the job, or you can save yourself the trouble and schedule a professional installation.